VIA Architecture's Conversion to Vision

by Mel Ifada, VIA Architecture

VIA Architecture converted to Vision in February 2009. Vision is a Professional Services Management program for Project-related businesses. At that time, there was a relatively small group of companies in Vancouver, BC who used the program. However, the users were keen to collaborate and a ‘Vancouver Vision User Group’ was initiated.

There is a rather large network of User Groups in the States and now a growing number of them in Canada. The purpose of the User Groups is to provide a platform for all types of users (Accountants / IT / Human Resources / Project Managers, etc) to discuss + brainstorm problems and solutions. There is no sales pitch - just users talking to users, helping users, networking, sharing experiences, adding value to each other.

Earlier this year, the Vancouver Vision User Group leader changed careers from being an ‘IT Guru user’ to pursue an opportunity on the sales + support side of the business. This is a great indication of the outgoing leaders’ belief in the product and its potential for growth within British Columbia. However, it also meant that the User Group was in need of a new leader.

As I have personally benefited greatly from attending user group meetings and various other Vision meetings, I volunteered to take on this role. My expectation was that the meetings would continue to be a maximum of a dozen or so participants at any one time which is a manageable sized group to host at VIA Architecture’s Vancouver office. The User Group hadn’t had a meeting for about 8 or 9 months so I set a pre-summer meeting for June 8th.

The response was overwhelming (in a wonderful way). We had 24 physical attendees and another 3 companies represented by teleconference! This is the largest meeting of Vision users in Vancouver that I’m aware of to date. It was fantastic! Some people had travelled for well over an hour each way to attend – others had flown over from Vancouver Island just for this meeting!

Many issues were discussed, solutions shared, grievances aired, and the next meeting date set for September 2010. The group is strong and keen!

Thank you to VIA Architecture for being an active participant in the Vision community and to Marlene, VIA's Director of Finance, for supporting me in taking on this role.